Ostade was the son of a weaver and worked in Haarlem. He produced a vast oeuvre that mainly consisted of genre scenes about peasant life. While they are often comical and sometimes grotesque, his paintings were intended to be moralising illustrations of human behaviour.
Later in Ostade's career his work became more respectable in tone, here the atmosphere is of relaxed, comfortable companionship. Ostade has used his typical palette of earthy colours that are only interrupted by the woman's white headscarf and red top.